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the new Chair of the RTÉ Board

At the weekly cabinet meeting today, former KPMG managing partner Terence O’Rourke was appointed as the new Chair of the RTÉ board.

His appointment comes less than a fortnight after the shock resignation of Siun Ní Raghallaigh, who in turn had replaced Moya Doherty in November 2022.

The latest development means the national broadcaster has now had three board chairs in less than a year-and-a-half, with the latest appointment intended to help bring calm to the ongoing storm at the station.

But who is Mr O’Rourke, and what experience is he likely to bring to the role?

From Inniskeen in Co Monaghan, 69-year-old Mr O’Rourke is a University College Dublin graduate in history and economics.

In 1975, he joined KPMG – widely regarded as one of the ‘big four’ accountancy firms – and by 1998 he had become an audit partner.

In 2006, he was elected to a managing partner role in the firm during which he served on the company’s global board, before retiring from the position in 2013.

Outside of his main career role, Mr O’Rourke has also held a series of high-profile board roles in Ireland across the areas of economics, accountancy, business, media and the arts.

In the economics and accountancy world, he has been a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, acting as president of the group from 2004 to 2005.

In business, he was a board member and former chair of Enterprise Ireland, receiving the Outstanding Contribution to Irish Business award at the Business and Finance Awards in 2022; and also held board roles with real estate firm Hibernia Reit.

In media companies, Mr O’Rourke has been a board member of the Irish Times, while in the arts he has been on the board of the Dublin Theatre Festival.

He is a current chair of ESB and Kinsale Capital Management, and is also a current council member of the Irish Management Institute and the Hugh Lane Gallery Trust.

It is understood Mr O’Rourke will remain as ESB Chair when he takes up the role in RTÉ.

From 2013 until 2021 Mr O’Rourke was also a member of DCU’s governing authority, being awarded an honorary doctorate in October last year, and is a former board member of Children’s Health Foundation.

In a statement after his appointment was confirmed, Mr O’ Rourke said: “I am honoured to be appointed chair of the RTÉ board. RTÉ’s public service role across news, current affairs and beyond is arguably more important today than ever.

“I look forward to working with the board and director-general in charting the future for RTÉ, and to working with the Minister and Government to establish a stable footing for the organisation.”

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